May 1, 2016)Here's the latest: As evidenced by the video below, rumors of politician Ted Cruz being the Zodiac killer have made it all the way to the White House. (Google "ted cruz zodiac killer" and prepare to be astonished at the level of media coverage the rumor has received.) As webmaster of Zodiackiller.com, I can't begin to estimate the amount of e-mail I have been bombarded with on the subject over the past several weeks.
For the record, my position on the matter is that Ted Cruz is definitely possibly not the Zodiac killer. I hope that settles it. April 23, 2015) Do we finally know why Zodiac wore his infamous costume while attempting double murder at Lake Berryessa more than 45-years ago? Below left is an image I recently found of an Australian police officer sporting the latest in riot gear. The image went worldwide via the Associated Press and was published in California newspapers approximately one month prior to the Zodiac's attack at Lake Berryessa, in which he wore the costume as seen in an artist's rendering below right. Commit murder while disguised as a cop...the ultimate taunt at authorities. Click the image for a larger view:
Oct. 31, 2014) The recent Zodiac 45th anniversary event in San Francisco, Cal. was a huge success. For details and lots of pics, see the Zodiackiller.com message board.
May 14, 2014) A new book has been released today that claims to reveal the identity of the Zodiac killer. Titled "The Most Dangerous Animal Of All," discussion and ordering info can be found at the Zodiackiller.com message board.
March 20, 2014) On this 16th anniversary of Zodiackiller.com, I am happy to announce a special event that will take place in San Francisco, Cal. on Oct. 11, 2014: The 45th anniversary of the Zodiac's only confirmed San Francisco murder. While still in the planning stages, you can learn more and follow along as everything develops.
> We are two days away from the anniversary of the Kathleen Johns incident that occured back in 1970, of which the Zodiac took responsibility. Click below for a high-resolution picture of Kathleen that was just recently shared with Zodiackiller.com by her family:
Feb. 26, 2014) The new year has brought yet another person taking to the news media with the claim of knowing the identity of the Zodiac killer. Sound familiar? For the entire story, including pictures, video and plenty of discussion, visit the Zodiackiller.com message board.
March 20, 2013) Today is the 15th anniversary of Zodiackiller.com and I have added a special update to mark the occasion.
> To the many who have asked, as far as I know a DNA comparison between Zodiac and suspect Richard Gaikowski has never been made.
> A new book about the Zodiac's identity is now available to order. Click here for more info about ZODIACracked -- The Manifestation of a Killer.
May 15, 2012) A new book about the alleged identity of the Zodiac killer has been getting quite a bit of media attention lately. For more info, including reviews, visit the Zodiac Books topic at the Zodiackiller.com message board. Or, to discuss the book, visit Zodiac chat. Warning: The book is horrible and probably won't make sense unless you are on heavy drugs.
> Speaking of discussion, the Zodiackiller.com message board now has more than 100,000 posts to read!
> The Zodiac police reports are now all in one place for easy reference. Check them out.
> After nearly a year, the identity of the unknown man remains a mystery. (See the Feb. 19. 2011 entry below.) An official statement is coming soon.
Dec. 20, 2011) On this 43rd anniversary of the Zodiac's attack on Lake Herman Road near Vallejo, Calif., I've added a comprehensive collection of vintage newspaper articles detailing the double murder. Click here to read and discuss.
Sept. 1, 2011) As we enter the anniversary month of the Zodiac's 1969 attack at Lake Berryessa, I have received news of an exciting development:
My partner, Detective Shulman, said he would let you know once we got to the Cecelia Shepard case. We have reviewed the case completely and sent all of the evidence we have to the California DNA laboratory in Richmond. We do not expect to have any results back for some time. Routinely, the turnaround time for cases like this is measured in months if not years.
-- REDACTED INFO --
Thank you for the access to your site. It has proven valuable for vetting out some of the theories we have received. We hope you will continue to allow us to view your research.
Thank you again for your assistance!
Detective Patrick McMahon
Napa County Sheriff’s Department
Cold Case Unit" --------------------------------------------------
Discussion of this development can be found at the Zodiackiller.com message board.
July 5, 2011) It's my pleasure to yet again share an exclusive and never-before-seen Zodiac case document. This time, it's a 1971 Zodiac PERT chart, as prepared by the California Department of Justice. Until now, the chart was only available to police. One of the more interesting tidbits contained in the chart is the revelation that Zodiac rode in the front seat of victim Paul Stine's cab, as discussed here. (For decades it was believed he sat in the back.) For discussion of the PERT chart, click here.
-- CLICK IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW EXCLUSIVE ZODIAC PERT CHART -- (PDF | 1.1 MB) For best results, zoom to 150% or more.
Feb. 19, 2011) Tonight's episode of America's Most Wanted featured a photo of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin that was first seen here at Zodiackiller.com last November. Pictured with Ferrin is a man of unknown identity. Click the image below for a huge version, and if you recognize the man, please contact me:
Jan. 31, 2011) At the end of January 1974, almost exactly 37 years ago, the Zodiac mailed a letter in which he seemed to claim 37 victims. It was the first Zodiac letter in nearly three years and its arrival sparked a renewed attempt by San Francisco police to catch him. To mark the occasion, I have updated the Zodiac Magazine Rack with a story about the investigation from the April 1974 issue of San Francisco Magazine.
> Click the image below for an amazing late-1960s aerial view of the neighborhood in San Francisco where the Zodiac killed cab driver Paul Stine:
Dec. 1, 2010) Retired Zodiac detective Ken Narlow has passed away after a strong battle against cancer. Narlow, who was a great friend to this website, worked for the Napa County Sheriff's Dept. for several decades and was the original detective assigned to investigate the Zodiac's attack at Lake Berryessa. He died in Napa on the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 29, 2010.
A recent e-mail from Ken: "This cancer is going to get me it's just a matter of time. I rarely get out of the house anymore and when I do Marie takes me where I want to go. I still get a few leads, that I pass on to the boys in blue."
Ken Narlow is pictured below with his son, circa 1960:
Oct. 6, 2010) In the Sept. 19, 2010 update, Zodiackiller.com showed how the Zodiac mimmicked Count Marco's odd writing style. Just a month later, it appears we have solved yet another mystery. Click the image below for the latest:
Oct. 1, 2010) The 2008 Zodiackiller.com task-force meeting, which was held on Dec. 20, 2008 at the Roxie theater in San Francisco, is now available to watch online for free. Hosted by author David Van Nuys, the 100-minute video features several guest speakers, including Nancy Slover (she spoke to the Zodiac back in 1969).
Sept. 19, 2010) Ever since Zodiac wrote a letter referencing San Francisco newspaper columnist Count Marco back in July 1974, speculation has remained over why Zodiac adopted such an unusual handwriting style for that particular letter. See below for my recent discovery (Click for a larger version):
I believe Zodiac was very familiar with the nuances of Marco's handwriting. If so, that potentially narrows the suspect pool immensely.
July 29, 2010) It has been nearly 41 years since the Zodiac murdered cab driver Paul Stine in San Francisco. Since then, most of us only know Stine through one published picture. Exclusive to Zodiackiller.com, I am thrilled to bring you a look at Paul Stine the public has never seen: MEET PAUL STINE.
Also see: Click the image below for the 13-page scrapbook that was kept by Paul's mother, Audra: (PDF | 99.2 MB)
Jan. 1, 2010) As we enter 2010, I believe the time is perfect to revisit places the Zodiac haunted more than four decades ago. Click here for a Zodiac flashback.
Dec. 20, 2009) 40 years ago today, the Zodiac killer mailed a letter to famed attorney Melvin Belli. For the bizarre events that preceded the mailing, including exclusive photos, click here.
Nov. 9, 2009) Today I received this e-mail from the FBI's cryptography expert, Dan Olson, concerning the Zodiac's unsolved 340 cipher:
-------------------------------------------------- "We havent seen any recent solutions or ideas that have generated a second look as of yet. If you can point us in the right direction we'll be all over it. FYI, if we ever do see a good partial or full solution we will forward it with our endorsement to the cold case squad at SFPD, but we will give credit to where credit is due.
I dont have a graphic to share but here are more details you can post instead: Statistics for repeated characters for each line of text show a distinct higher randomness with the lines we've discussed (1-3 and 11-13). The higher randomness may be due in part or whole to greater care by the writer to not repeat characters on these lines. This indicates homophonic substitution. The opposite is true for lines 4, 10, 14, 17 and 18, these lines have many repeats. Additionally, there is far greater randomness for rows versus columns. This rules out any form of columnar or diagnal transpositions (a big step forward).
These same statistical tests were done on Z408. The results suggest that 340 is similar to 408 except for the bogus rows: overall randomness of 408 is .48, 340 is .50. Row randomness of 408 is .22, 340 is .19. Column randomness of 408 is .48, 340 is .68. By way of comparison, row and column randomness should be near identical if the 340 does not contain any message, or if there is a message that is evenly scrambled.
Thanks again for your help Tom." --------------------------------------------------
Sept. 22, 2009) There's a new Zodiac book to add to your collection. Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel by author Steve Hodel (with Ralph Pezzullo) goes on sale today in bookstores everywhere. Click the yellow Most Evil icon to the right for more info courtesy of Amazon.com. Discussion of the book can be found here.
> Here's the YouTube trailer for a TV project involving Zodiackiller.com:
Aug. 10, 2009) Before you check out the free, exclusive, two-hour Zodiac video below, keep in mind that even though I do my best, often I don't have time to formally update Zodiackiller.com each time I receive interesting and valuable Zodiac information. Sometimes it can take me weeks or months to get the news to you, or it can just slip through the cracks and never get published. There is now a way for you to get all the good stuff delivered to your e-mail box immediately. Click here to find out how.
> Exactly five years ago, I filmed my own video of the various Zodiac crime scenes and other relevant locations. Click below for the free, exclusive, two-hour ULTIMATE Zodiac video on YouTube:
July 15, 2009) The recent Zodiackiller.com task-force meeting was a blast, and extremely informative to boot. Thanks to all who participated.
> I've written a feature article about the events of the last year or so in the Zodiac world. Click here for "The 13th Sign".
May 14, 2009) About two weeks ago a woman came forward claiming to be the Zodiac killer's daughter. She was the same woman who recently claimed to be the illegitimate daughter of President John F. Kennedy. Obviously her story is nonsense, as none of the witnesses to the Zodiac's crimes ever described him as traveling in a motorcade.
In any event, discussion of these recent events -- along with thousands of other Zodiac-related topics -- can be found at the Zodiackiller.com message board.
> The next Zodiackiller.com task-force meeting is less than two months away. See the Jan. 5, 2009 update below for details.
Jan. 29, 2009) It was exactly 35 years ago that the Zodiac mailed one of his last letters. Today I
updated the Zodiac Letters page to include two new
additions. (Thanks to Howard Davis.)
Jan. 5, 2009) The Zodiackiller.com
task-force meeting at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco might be history, but please
enjoy the video at the bottom of this update of the subsequent Zodiac bus tour that 50 of
> The next Zodiackiller.com task-force meeting will be held this July 5th (Sunday) at Blue Rock Springs Park
in Vallejo, Calif. That date is the 40th anniversary of the Zodiac's attack of Darlene
Ferrin and Mike Mageau. Fittingly, the section of the park reserved for the event is
called "The Pines" and was the site of the very first task-force meeting back in
2002, as pictured at left. "The Pines" features 22 picnic tables, two BBQs, plus
nearby restrooms, water, and shade. (We will most probably tent a portion in case of
heat/rain.) Best of all, it's free. Beer and wine are permitted. Kids are welcome. After
the recent hectic task-force meeting, we are looking forward to a mellow affair. Mingling!
Discussion! Make your plans to be there. I can't wait! (Starting a new diet tomorrow.) I'd
like to thank the Dahlia for her help.
> I've put together a page of vintage Zodiac television programs that you can either
view online, or save to your computer. Here's a link. Enjoy!
> There's a new Zodiac website to check out. Here's a link to MK-ZODIAC.COM.
Oct. 18, 2008) Welcome, viewers of
TruTV's Haunting Evidence: Zodiac Killer! If you watched the show and are curious
about the man behined "the voice," or if you just want to read about the most
compelling Zodiac suspect to ever come along, click
> For in-depth discussion of all things Zodiac, including exclusive information not
available anywhere else, don't miss the Zodiackiller.com message board.
Sept. 27, 2008) Today is the 39th
anniversary of the Zodiac's attack at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Cal. I've updated the
page of his victims at the lake, Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell, with eight new images.
Sept. 6, 2008) After more than 30
years of scrutiny, Rick Marshall has finally
been dismissed as a Zodiac suspect...and Zodiackiller.com played a huge part.
Here's how it went down:
It all started a couple of months ago when I received a phone tip (415 267-4818) from a
woman who worked at a care facility in the Sacramento (Cal.) area. She told me that
Marshall was a patient where she worked, and that he had spoken about the Zodiac case. She
found him to be extremely suspicious and was not sure what to do. Thinking Marshall might
finally be ready to talk due to his advanced age and deteriorating health, I contacted my
sources at the Napa County Sheriff's Dept., the agency that originally investigated
Marshall back in the 1970s. Two detectives made the trek to Sacramento and spent a
significant amount of time interviewing Marshall. I have yet to find if DNA testing was
involved, but whatever data was gleaned was enough for investigators to finally dismiss
Marshall as a viable Zodiac suspect after more than three decades.
I'm hopeful to have an official statement in the next few days. A big thanks to those of
you who have supported this website and helped make this
Aug. 15, 2008) On Monday I will be
departing for the San Francisco Bay Area for seven days of Zodiac research. My focus will
be on obtaining information about Zodiac suspect Richard Gaikowski. The
results of my search, including relevant pictures, documents, handwriting samples, etc.,
will be posted as quickly as possible and available exclusively to registered users at the
Zodiackiller.com message board.
> The Biography Channel recently added an excellent feature to their website. Check out
for the Zodiac case and hundreds of others.
16, 2008) While research continues into Zodiac suspect Richard Gaikowski (see
the March 26, 2008 update below), a new photo has recently surfaced of one of the original
top suspects, Rick Marshall. Exclusive to
Zodiackiller.com, click here to see how Marshall
looked in the 1970s.
> Howard "Buzz" Gordon, who dated Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin in the months
before her murder, recently passed away from natural causes. At the time Gordon dated
Ferrin, he worked for the Solano County Sheriff's Dept. and was eventually a suspect in
her murder. Here's a link to notes from a 1991 interview
Jan. 25, 2008)
To most Zodiac buffs (as well as newcomers to the Zodiac case who have seen the recent
David Fincher film Zodiac), Don Cheney is no stranger. Cheney is, afterall, the
man who went to the police back in 1971 because he thought his former friend Arthur Leigh
Allen was the Zodiac.
In the recently released director's cut of Zodiac, one of the special features on
the two-disc DVD is a documentary about Allen. Cheney was interviewed on camera and made
several statements about Allen that made Cheney appear suspicious, even to a
retired detective also featured in the documentary. Was Cheney lying all along about
Allen? Or, could Cheney have actually helped Allen commit the Zodiac crimes?
Click here for a look at a suspicious letter Cheney
sent me several years ago. To order the two-disc director's cut of Zodiac featuring
the Allen documentary, click the image directly below this update.
> There's no coverage of the Zodiac case, but I still wanted to plug an excellent new
site out of Oklahoma City, Okla. that is dedicated to solving the cold cases in its area.
Here's a link to coldcaseokc.com.
Dec. 12, 2007) My library of
Zodiac-related video has grown quite large over the years, and some is extremely rare. One
such rarity is a campy (but very good) production from around 1979 called Zodiac: Sign
Of Death. At just under 10 minutes in length, Zodiac: Sign Of Death is packed
with excellent footage and a funky 70s soundtrack. My favorite part is the voice of
Zodiac; it's the same actor who was the voice of the computer "HAL" in the
classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Click the numbered links below to listen to select MP3 clips of Zodiac: Sign Of Death.
Dec. 1, 2007) A newspaper based in
the United Kingdom recently published a story claiming mega-celeb Britney Spears is a
regular user of this website. Could it be true? I'll never tell. (I make it a habit not to
reveal the identities of site users who prefer to remain anonymous.) Click here to read the story.
Nov. 7, 2007) While I prefer to make
all Zodiac-related information free for users to access, sometimes financial issues make
it necessary for me to offer certain information for sale only. However, I believe the
Zodiac case benefits greatly when people are more informed. That's more rewarding to me
than the occasional Internet sale. Therefore, the Zodiac FBI Files, Historical Newspaper
Archive and High-Resolution Zodiac Letters -- three items that were previously available
for purchase only -- are now free to download. Click the links below:
Nov. 4, 2007) In
a little more than a year it will be the 40th anniversary of Zodiac's first-known attack.
Since then, much has changed in the locations where Zodiac was active. Click the images
below for a high-resolution view of life (circa 1960s) in Vallejo, Lake Berryessa and San
(Images may be saved for free.)
Oct. 11, 2007)
Today is the 38th anniversary of Zodiac's murder of Yellow Cab driver Paul Stine in San
Francisco, Cal. While recent details of Stine's life have recently emerged and are being
researched for possible clues (see the Sept. 12, 2007 update below), vintage photos from
the files of the San Francisco Police Dept. are available to view. Taken within hours of
Stine's murder, here are: the cab | the crime scene 1 | the crime
Sept. 26, 2007) It took hours of
work, but 30 high-resolution images are finally available to view
of top Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen's 1966-1968 personnel file. Several years ago I
obtained the file from the Calaveras County (Calif.) Unified School District where Allen
had worked as an elementary teacher. Within the file are many handwriting samples,
including his two-page job application. If Allen was the Zodiac, the file might contain
Sept. 12, 2007) Recently I learned
that Zodiac victim Paul Stine was allegedly hired as a
reporter by the San Francisco Chronicle shortly before his murder.
If that information is true, Stine -- who worked as a reporter for his high school
newspaper and was an English major at San Francisco State -- was just days away from
beginning his new job at the very newspaper Zodiac chose to write a vast majority of his
The potential implications are staggering. However, it's extremely important that I verify
this information as best I can.
If Stine was indeed telling others that he was a reporter for the San Francisco newspaper
(even if he was simply exaggerating), it stands to reason that Zodiac may actually have
known him and perhaps even targeted him for that specific reason.
If you knew Paul Stine or anyone in his family, circle of friends, classmates, fellow
employees, etc, please click here to contact me. You may remain
July 21, 2007) In just a few days,
David Fincher's Zodiac will be available to rent and buy on DVD. While not exactly
a factual portrayal of the Zodiac case, the film is packed with excellent performances.
One of the best was turned in by Robert Downey Jr. in his portrayal of real-life reporter
Paul Avery. (Avery was highly instrumental in the evolution of Zodiackiller.com.) In Zodiac,
Downey Jr.'s character displays mostly annoyance toward the case. However, the real Paul
Avery was very much involved in the Zodiac investigation. Here's
a case report Avery prepared for the police back in 1971.
April 2, 2007) In the last few
weeks, an incredible amount of tantalizing information has been collected about the person
of interest ("Sam") this website developed in connection to the
recently-discovered Eureka card. Several weeks ago I e-mailed a certain police department
and asked if it would be interested in seeing the information compiled about
"Sam." I have yet to receive a response. Quite unfortunate. In my opinion,
"Sam" has surpassed Arthur Leigh Allen in terms of interesting Zodiac-related
It's now plainly obvious to me that before I again attempt to approach a law-enforcement
agency about "Sam," I will need to have all of the bases covered so that
"Sam" can't simply be ignored. Most likely a trip back to California will be
necessary in order to accomplish all of the needed intimate background research and
collecting of handwriting samples, as well as for me to approach "Sam" in person
(along with a retired homicide detective).
> As expected, March 2007 was the busiest month in the history of Zodiackiller.com, as
the March 2 release of David Fincher's film Zodiac helped boost my hits to a total
of almost 30 million. Therefore, I almost feel guilty that Zodiac was such a total
bomb at the box office. Of course, had the film spent more time on the Zodiac's victims,
as well as the other aspects of the case that people actually find interesting, I
have a feeling things would have turned out much differently for the film.
March 13, 2007) This morning at 9
o'clock (Pacific Time) I'll be a guest on Eureka (Cal.) Radio Station KSLG-FM to discuss
the possible 1990 Zodiac correspondence (see the Feb. 25, 2007 update below). UPDATE: Click here for an MP3 file of the show (approx. 30 min. | 28 MB).
For much more on the Eureka card, including high-resolution scans, visit the all-new
Zodiackiller.com message board.
> The 2007 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting was a huge success, as everyone who
attended seemed to have a great time. David Van Nuys did an excellent job of hosting the
event. Guest speakers Howard Davis, Nancy Slover and Bill Baker were terriffic. And of
course, John Mikulenka's Hunting
The Zodiac documentary definitely lived up to the high expectations.
> Thanks primarily to the heavy marketing campaign for the David Fincher movie Zodiac,
so far this month Zodiackiller.com has already received more than 16 million hits! If
you'd like to inquire about advertising opportunities, please contact
Feb. 25, 2007) In the last week, the
San Francisco Chronicle discovered an envelope in its library of Zodiac materials.
Inside the envelope was a greeting card. Apparently its importance had never been
recognized, or it was thought to be a hoax.
A few days ago I was shown images of the envelope and card to help determine authenticity.
I believe it is authentic. (I promised I wouldn't publish any images until they
appear in the Chronicle.)
The Chronicle is busy preparing a huge story about this amazing and important
The date of the postmark left me in a state of shock.
> There's an all-new Zodiackiller.com message board. Click here to check it out.
> I'm departing for San Francisco this evening and won't be back for more than a week.
During that time, I'll be extremely busy preparing for the upcoming Zodiackiller.com
Task-Force Meeting (see the Feb. 14, 2007 update below for details) and I may not have the
opportunity to update this site with new information. Therefore I suggest keeping an eye
on the new message board, as the board moderators will post when I'm not able to. (I'll
still be checking my e-mail several times a day.)
Feb. 14, 2007) A huge update this
time, so make sure you scroll down for everything.
First and foremost, I'm deeply saddened to report the passing of retired San Francisco
Police Dept. Inspector Michael Maloney, who died of a sudden heart problem this past
weekend. Maloney was a
great guy and a big friend of this website. Just last week he e-mailed me and was very
excited about attending the upcoming 2007 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting (see below).
In the few years preceding his 2004 retirement, Maloney had a big involvement in the
Zodiac investigation (along with his partner, Inspector Kelly Carroll). Together they gave
renewed attention to the Zodiac case and were involved in the important accomplishment of
securing the Zodiac's DNA profile, which may one day prove the key to solving the case. In
late 2005, Maloney contributed this special report to
Meehall, I appreciate your contributions and will miss you. The next pint is on me. (Click
above image to enlarge)
> The 2007 Zodiackiller.com Task-Force Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at
the 4 Star theater in San Francisco. The meeting is open to the public and will run from
noon until 3 p.m., featuring the debut of John Mikulenka's documentary film, Hunting
The Zodiac. (VIEW
Special guests at the meeting will include Nancy Slover (the police switchboard operator
who spoke to the Zodiac back in 1969), as well as David Van Nuys, the emeritus professor
of psychology at Sonoma State University and co-author of This is the Zodiac Speaking.
> I'm happy to announce that my predictions of another delay were wrong. David
Fincher's Zodiac will definitely be in theaters on Friday, March 2. And early
reviews have been excellent. I'll be there for opening night. (OFFICIAL WEBSITE)
> A new feature has been added to Zodiackiller.com! It's called SHOUTcast and it's my audio blog of all things Zodiac. So far I've only done
one, but more are on the way. Hope you enjoy it.
> I haven't yet seen any ads for it, but apparently FOX's America's Most Wanted
will be devoting an hour to the Zodiac case on Saturday, Feb. 24, beginning at 9 p.m.
20, 2006) Now that the trailer to the upcoming Zodiac movie is finally in theaters,
I've decided to publish some new documents relating to Arthur
Leigh Allen, the movie's main Zodiac suspect. Guilty or not, Allen was a
Reading his recipes, it's interesting to note the intentional misspellings Allen
frequently used, similar to what the Zodiac did. Of particular interest to me was Allen's
habit of frequently spelling "water" as watter (see the Dec. 1, 2006
update below for significance).
> Today is the 38th anniversary of the Zodiac's double murder at Lake Herman Road in
Vallejo, Cal. For those of you who missed it, click here
for my special 2003 update.
Dec. 1, 2006) Most Zodiac buffs are
aware the killer was apparently influenced by movies such as The Most Dangerous Game
and Charlie Chan at Treasure Island. Recently I've learned of two other possible
sources of inspiration --
1)The Astrologer Looks At Murder:
Written by Barbara H. Watters and published in
1969, this book takes an astrological look at several notorious crimes, including those of
Jack the Ripper. The number of possible
connections to the Zodiac killer is quite fascinating: The book was published the same
year the Zodiac debuted; the author's middle name is "Hunt;" her last name
("Watters") is in keeping with the Zodiac's alleged "water
connection;" the author is billed as hailing from "Washington," which is
the name of the street where the Zodiac's San Francisco victim was murdered; the
publishing company (Valhalla) is named after an Old Norse term for "Hall of the
Slain," which is reminiscent of the Zodiac's writings about "slaves in
paradice;" the word "Zodiac" is written in the first sentence of the book;
many of the Zodiac's cipher symbols are included with the book's artwork; the main chapter
mentions the date Sept. 27, which was when the Zodiac attacked a couple at Lake Berryessa;
that same chapter also discusses taunting the police with letters. Buy
this book at Amazon.com
2)Ensign Pulver: A Warner Bros. film
released in 1964 and starring Walter Matthau, Robert Walker Jr., Burl Ives, Larry Hagman
and Jack Nicholson, Ensign Pulver is a comedy about the adventures aboard a Navy
ship during World War II. It's long been assumed the Zodiac killer had an affiliation with
the military, probably the Navy. Aside from that, the other possible connections to the
Zodiac are very interesting: The crew constructs a dummy
to represent the unknown shooter of the ship's despised captain; the dummy is named "The Great Assassin" by the crew and looks
remarkably like the Zodiac did years later in his murder
costume; the film was released on July 31 -- exactly five years prior to the
Zodiac's first letters -- reminiscent of the killer's penchant for being active on
anniversary dates that were significant to him. (Thanks to George L for the Ensign
Pulver tip.) Buy
this video at Amazon.com
> For those of you planning to make purchases via Amazon.com, I've created a one-stop
shopping area that includes not only all available Zodiac books and DVDs, but an excellent
selection of other true-crime cases as well. Here's a link
to check it out. (Zodiackiller.com has an affiliate account with Amazon and gets a small
commission for every purchase made via this site.) For electronics, apparel and other
items, use the Amazon search box above. Thank you for helping support Zodiackiller.com
by using these Amazon links!
Nov. 16, 2006) After much
anticipation, the world finally gets a look at David Fincher's upcoming blockbuster film Zodiac:
Oct. 11, 2006) Add the "Zodiac Shack" to the list of Zodiac-related places
to change drastically in recent times. As seen in this overhead
picture, the shack has been destroyed by fire. Even the barn is gone.
Sept. 27, 2006) On this date in
1969, the Zodiac murdered Cecelia Shepard and
wounded Bryan Hartnell at Lake Berryessa in Napa
County, Calif. For almost 38 years, the crime scene
changed little. However, the last remaining tree recently toppled. Additionally, all
picnic tables and barbecue grills have been removed. The scene is now barren.
> The Lake Berryessa crime scene wasn't the only major Zodiac-related site to recently
face drastic changes. The Vallejo (Calif.) Ace Hardware
store, long-time workplace of Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh
Allen, was torn down just a few days ago.
June 12, 2006) After years of
searching, I've finally found and interviewed Nancy Slover, the former Vallejo Police
Dept. switchboard operator who spoke with the Zodiac early
in the morning of July 5, 1969. Believe it or not, our 90-minute conversation was the
first time Nancy had been interviewed about the Zodiac case in more than 36 years. It was
quite an interesting discussion, to say the least. I'm thrilled she is now willing to go
on record for the first time about her roll in the Zodiac mystery.
Much more info is on the way and will be posted asap. For now, here are a few of the more
interesting details Nancy provided:
*The call was absolutely not recorded by police
*Zodiac's taunting "Goodbye" at the end of the call was very bizarre and
*The operator who patched the call through to the police station was on the line with
Nancy for at least the first few seconds of the call. However, the phone company refused
to cooperate with the police and identify the operator
*At the time of the shooting, Nancy was living on the same street as the male victim
> Last week's Zodiac chat with author Mike
Kelleher went great, as Mike spent a little more than two hours answering
questions from the 60 or so total participants. Hopefully we can schedule another chat in
the near future.
June 1, 2006) Mike Kelleher, author
Is The Zodiac Speaking, will be a special guest in the Zodiackiller.com chat room on Wednesday, June 7 @ 7 p.m. (Pacific Time). For
those of you who can't make it into the room, feel free to send
me your questions/comments for Mike and I'll do my best to pass them along.
April 4, 2006) The Zodiac Movies page has been updated with my reviews of both
the recent theatrical release The Zodiac, as well as last summer's straight-to-dvd Zodiac
> Zodiackiller.com received a whopping 3.4 million hits in March 2006, an all-time
record for this site. To inquire about advertising, click here.
> After some technical difficulties, the Zodiackiller.com Info Line is
back in action. If you have any Zodiac-related information to share, call (415) 267-4818.
Meanwhile, here are a few of the more interesting/entertaining calls I've received over
the last year or so, all in MP3 format:
March 17, 2006) Today marks the
first time in 35 years that a film about the Zodiac case is in theaters. (See the Feb. 17,
2006 update below for info about where The Zodiac is
playing. I'll be screening the film shortly and will provide a review.)
*1971 saw the release of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, which was based on the
Zodiac case, although the villain was called Scorpio
*1971 was also the year of the ultra-low budget The Zodiac Killer, which played in
just one theater
Feb. 17, 2006) ShadowMachine Films
has provided its much-anticipated theatrical release date for The
Zodiac: Opening night is March 17, 2006 in these cities/theaters:
*San Francisco Area -- San Francisco (Presidio); Vallejo (Vallejo 14); San Jose (Century
25); Daly City (Daly City 20); Union City (Union City 25)
*Los Angeles (Sunset 5)
*Houston (Greenway Grand 24)
*Dallas (City Place 14)
*Atlanta (Atlantic Station)